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The Rouge Forum: Update December 2008 (Supplementary on the New School University Occupation)



A message from Rich Gibson



Dear Friends,


Events dictate an “extra edition” of the Rouge Forum Update.


Students at the New School in New York City seized their buildings and are holding out for the demands listed below.


This direct action follows student uprisings in Greece and France in the last ten days and parallels the sit-down action by workers at Chicago’s Republic Works.


The building seizure is precisely along the lines that the Rouge Forum urged for a decade and shows, once again, that student action can spark social resistance–and reasoned analysis– involving poor and working people who hold the power to bring real transformation.


In the coming period, the success of ruling classes around the world to demolish what limited living standards we have, from education to health care to food and very life, will be measured by the fight-back we can muster.


Since schools are the centripetal organizing point of life for most people in North America, and since youth are not habituated to defeats and are at the same time themselves under attack, it makes sense that resistance can be initiated from schools.


Building seizures are a time honored tactic. School workers in Michigan, for example, were taking over and striking schools as late as the mid-eighties while social workers in the same area staged “work-ins” to demonstrate the impossibility of their caseloads.


Inside seized buildings, students, workers, educators, and parents can join together and conduct real Freedom Schooling in an atmosphere, unlike most, where the hopeful message, “what we do counts,” is loud and clear.


Our New York City Rouge Forum members who are not already on their way to the New School might want to go as soon as possible to set up solidarity actions.


We will create a solidarity petition online but in the interim, RF readers can just email notes of support to me, hitting “reply.”


Down with the banks and
Up the rebels!


This is a good way to ring in the New Year!

Rich Gibson



“Please, come out to the New School and support us! Join us! We are at 65 5th avenue (between 13th and 14th St.). The building will be open to all consortium students at 7:30am, we invite you to come any time tomorrow, but particularly at 10:30 when there will be a rally and press conference. The morning hours will be crucial, and the student-occupiers need to know that we are not struggling alone!”


Or see demands and various other sources below…


Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 03:15:13 -0500
Subject: [cuny_movement] New School Occupied! 10:30am Press Conference/Rally –
CUNY Students statement – Distribute widely!
To: cuny_movement {AT} lists.riseup.
net, CCU – discussion <cuny-contingents-discussion {AT}>,
adjunct-l <ADJUNCT-L {AT}>, GSOC Group <gcsoc {AT}>, militant-inquiries {AT}, gcspacepubs {AT}
< >


We write this statement from an occupied New School University:


At 8pm, December 18th, over 75 students reclaimed the cafeteria at the New School University as an autonomous student center. Students from several Universities commandeered this space. Students of City College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center are here participating in this struggle. This is every student’s occupation.


If this can happen at the New School, through the organized activity of 75 dedicated students, it can happen at CUNY. And we certainly have reason to be upset:  On the first day of the Fall 2008 semester, the CUNY budget was slashed $50.6 million.  Massive layoffs plague all our schools. We are now being told of a looming $600-per-year tuition hike and more colossal budget cuts to CUNY students and teachers, in a school that was once FREE.


We will continue this campus occupation until our demands are met. While the demands tonight are specific to The New School we will not be satisfied until the students and faculty of CUNY, NYU, all the consortium schools and beyond, have control over their universities. Education should be free, student debts should be cancelled, students and workers should work together to achieve our goals, and we start here.


Please, come out to the New School and support us! Join us! We are at 65 5th avenue (between 13th and 14th St.). The building will be open to all consortium students at 7:30am, we invite you to come any time tomorro w, but particularly at 10:30 when there will be a rally and press conference. The morning hours will be crucial, and the student-occupiers need to know that we are not struggling alone!


Our next stop? CUNY.
–       CUNY students at The New School in Exile


Frank at 718.314.2328, fmanning {AT}
Conor Tomás Reed at 979.204.9253, cocoreed {AT}


—-below we attach the communiqué from all of The New School in Exile—–


An Open Letter: Come Occupy a Building with Us…Now


Dear Friends,


We are writing to you from the inside of the New School Graduate Faculty Building on 65 5th Ave.  We are occupying it. Right now. Literally.


Students of the New School University, along with our partners from other universities and groups ­ like NYU, Hunter College, City College of NY, CUNY Graduate Center, and Borough of Manhattan Community College, have organically risen up to demand the resignation of President Bob Kerrey, Executive Vice President James Murtha, and Board Member/torturer Robert B. Millard (he multi-tasks). We have come together to prevent our study spaces from being flattened by corporate bulldozers, to have a say in who runs this school, to demand that the money we spend on this institution be used to facilitate the creation of a better society, not to build bigger buildings or invest in companies that make=2 0war. We have come here not only to make demands, but also to live them. Our presence makes it clear that this school is ours, and yours, if you are with us.


The outside doors have been closed now, so we can’t exactly invite you in…sorry… We know you wanted a piece of the action, but we’ll be around for quite some time. Join us at 7 AM tomorrow when the doors open again, or come now to stand outside with a sign in solidarity. You are cordially invited to join us in any way you can. We are not going anywhere. In the meantime, check out our Web site: We have all night to make things interesting, and the website will continue to be updated. Stay tuned for the musical pieces, doctoral dissertations, and creative finger-paintings that seem to be the natural result of 150 students locked into a building together for a night.


We are here, making decisions collectively, doing teach-ins, listening to music, studying, singing. We’ve got an upright bassist, guitarists and vocalists (If anyone can volunteer a drum-set we’ll be well on our way…). We’ll be here until this university changes, or until the party gets boring (but it doesn’t seem likely that will happen). We’re not going anywhere. We hope to see you soon, and if you really can’t wait a few hours ­ what the hell ­ occupy your own universities or work spaces.


Come use your voice to declare loudly that this school and this world are yours. Come use your mind to think up a better world. Come use your body to create it, one all-nighter in the university cafeteria at a time. Come stand in solidarity with the students, faculty, and staff of this university. Come to write letters of support to the people of the village of Thanh Phong whose parents were murdered by the current President of the New School during his service in Vietnam. Come join the struggle with the people of Iraq who are being tortured and killed by a company funded by this university and represented on the New School Board of Trustees. Come here to join the uprisings and outpouring of passionate resistance currently taking place all over this country, and all over the worlds ­ from factory workers in Chicago to students in Greece. Come for yourself. Come for all of us.


In solidarity,
The New School in Exile

From various sources Wednesday night…
New School Building Occupied 
To members of Campus Antiwar Network
Ian Chinich
Today at 12:54am

I am currently sitting inside a barricaded room with a large number of students at the New School. The students have occupied the building and are refusing to leave until their demands are met. They want the resignation of20the director of L-3 Communications from their board of governors in addition to stopping tuition increases, and divulging investment information.



We need support. We need food… we need media support… we need help spreading the word… we need you to occupy your schools and your work places… A number of students from other schools in the area have come to help us hold this space. So far the police have not forced their way in….. security has padlocked the fire escape to prevent more of us from getting in…a security guard attempted to enter over our barricades in the front to listen in but he was surrounded, we are holding our ground and we are holding out…. we shall see what happens in the morning.

Come to 14th street and 5th Avenue….. NOW!!!!…


Maria Lewis sent a message to the members of TAKE BACK NYU!



Subject: Come Join the SIt-In at the New School!


Greetings from liberated space! Come join us at the New School sit-in and demand student democracy and an end to school-sanctioned war profiteering! Like Take Back NYU!, New School students are fighting for student power and an end to campus complicity in systematic injustice. Let’s stand by our allies!!!


We are currently occupying 65 5th Ave. btwn. 13th and 14th street. Call me at (415)240-9441 and I will get you in. Please come join us, we need every heart, mind and body we can get. I have pasted a full explanation and li st of demands below.


What We Want:


The removal of Bob Kerrey as President of our university


The removal of James Murtha as Executive Vice President of our university


Election of the president, EVP, and Provost Students, faculty, and staff


Students as voting members of the interim committee to hire a provost

The removal of Robert B. Millard as treasurer of the board of trustees


Intelligible transparency and disclosure of the university budget and
The creation of a committee on socially responsible investments
The immediate suspension of capital improvement projects like the
tearing down of 65 fifth Ave


Instead, money towards the creation of an autonomous student space


Instead, money towards scholarships and reducing tuition


Instead, money for the library and student life generally




Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:40:47 -0800 (PST)
From: dan vea <dan_vea>
Subject: [NYMAA] some new school occupation resources












On Kerrey:







Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Glenn’s blog, Volumizer is at:

Currently listening:
Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
By Explosions in the Sky
Release date: 2001-09-04





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